Infielder Scott Kingery could get his first start of the new season when the Phillies begin a three-game series against the Washington Nationals on Monday night.
Manager Gabe Kapler has only altered his lineup once — to get starting catcher J.T. Realmuto a rest on Saturday — in eight games. That has left Kingery, Aaron Altherr and Nick Williams without a start. It won’t be easy to get Altherr and Williams into the outfield with the way Andrew McCutchen, Odubel Herrera and Bryce Harper have played. But second baseman Cesar Hernandez’ slow start could make it easy for Kapler to get Kingery some time.
“It’s something that is under consideration and we’ll talk about it tonight,” Kapler said of a lineup tweak after Sunday’s 2-1 win over Minnesota. “Cesar has not gotten off to his best start. We also have a tremendous amount of confidence based on his track record. He has a track record of getting on base. He has a track record of being a productive offensive player. We expect the same from him this year. And if we decide he needs a blow then we’ll get Scotty in there.”
Hernandez, who spent a good chuck of last season leading off for the Phils, has been hitting in the No. 7 spot in this new, deeper lineup. Through eight games, he is 5 for 28 (.179) with three walks, four strikeouts and a .250 on-base percentage.
Kingery is hitless with a walk in five plate appearances this season.
The Phillies signed Kingery to a six-year, $24 million contract before the 2018 season and he has long been viewed as the Phillies' second baseman of the future. Hernandez has thus far held serve at the position, but Kingery is in position to start putting some heat on him.
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